Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Terrified in Seattle (and other highlights of last week)

We have a busy Spring planned with lots of visitors. Our home also doubles as "Hotel Andros" and we love it. Ben's folks were here in February, and we had visitors for a week last week. My younger brother and sister, Steve and Catherine, and Cath's boyfriend George came and visited us from Utah during their college Spring break. We had a blast with them and the week flew by.

The first full day we were here, (Saturday March 9), we headed to downtown Seattle to show George the sights (he's never been to Seattle).

We were all too cheap to pay for tickets to go up in the Space Needle, so we did the next best thing- took our pictures underneath it.

The Andros fam


Behind the scenes- in case you were wondering how you take pics with the Space Needle above you. This is how.

Laying flat on the ground. A great view- and actually pretty comfortable.

After walking around the Seattle Center, looking at things we didn't want to pay to get into, we went to the Pacific Science Center. I've done a lot of things in downtown Seattle and off all the things I've paid to do, I'd have to say the PSC is one of the best things for your money. It has plenty to keep kids AND adults entertained for hours. Keeping adults entertained at a kid friendly place is a huge bonus, and we spent over 4 hours there. And my babies were free- double bonus (literally). Love the Pacific Science Center. Love it.

Ben and the kids got a quick photo outside the center in front of the fountain.

Catherine also got her picture taken, as she reminisced about the time she and my older sister pushed each other in the fountain when we came here on a family vacation in 1998.

The first exhibit inside is the dinosaur exhibit. Mitch is our dinosaur man and all 4 kids loved it.

With the triceratops

How many Andros kids can fit in a dinosaur footprint?

Four, actually.

Over in insect land, there was a little exhibit where they were letting the kids hold a cockroach. (Gross, right?) Mitch and Lexi waited patiently for their turn.

Lexi first tries to just pet it. You gotta ease your way into.

Mitch held it first and was just fine with it. (That's Ben phone getting another picture of him).

Lexi was next and did surprisingly well. She just giggled as it crawled on her hands.

Leah got brave and wanted to try it after seeing Lex do it (naturally). As soon as the guy placed it in her hands, she started to scream and cry (of course) and jerked her hands away. The poor cockroach. Oh, and poor Leah, too. :) Can you see her hands pulled away, clenched fists, and her face screaming "no?"

This was the start of our "Terrified in Seattle" afternoon. And things were going so well up until this time!

Trying to recover from the cockroach incident, we headed over to the butterfly exhibit, because- who can be afraid of butterflies, right??

Chloe and Lexi weren't afraid. They loved spotting butterflies within arms reach.

Mitch wasn't afraid, either.

Yep, you guessed it. Leah was afraid. Big time. Petrified. Frightened. Worried. Anxious. Whatever you want to call it, she was. She saw that butterflies would land on people's heads, and as soon as she saw that, it was all over from there. She was a nervous wreck.

Family shot, with Leah covering her head and keeping a close eye out on the vicious butterflies in the air, lest one should land on her head and eat her alive.

George and Cath

I'm ashamed to say that it was actually quite funny. She was down right scared out of her mind. Her hands did not leave the top of her head the entire time we were in there and she was constantly screaming and/or whimpering.

A quick picture with Mom, but still on the fearful look out for butterflies.

It was exhausting having her so terrified, so I finally took Ben's hat and put it on her head, telling her it would protect her from the flying demons. It pacified her for a minute.

Then back to her intense, skyward watch. We didn't get to spend as much time in the butterfly house as we would have liked.

Like I said, there is so much fun things for adults to do. It's like a children's museum, but better. If we lived closer (like 10 minutes away), I'd definitely buy a season pass.

Lexi and Steve played a game together.

The most fun thing for Lexi to do was sit on a random chair and look adorable.

George beat all of us on the hanging pull up bar.

At the end, we let the kids try their hand at the outdoor water gun machine. A big hit.

Poor, tired, nervous little Leah. She fell asleep within minutes on the way home.

The rest of the week with our visitors was fantastic. They were all so good to my kids. We were pretty low key the whole week and Cath, Steve and George pretty much did whatever my kids wanted to do.

At 6' 6'', Steve's shoulders are the best seat in the house.

Don't worry, Leah has a diaper on...

Lexi is quite smitten with Cath.

And George- bless his heart. Mitchell was absolutely obsessed with George and followed him around all week long. And that is no exaggeration. He asked George to play a million board games with him, asked George to watch all his favorite TV shows, held his hand on every outing we went on, requested his presence next to him on every car ride, and even requested that George pick him up from preschool (I saved George from that one!) And George did almost everything Mitch asked. It was very sweet. Mitch was very sad to see him go.

The week flew by. We had such a great time.

And Leah is now fully recovered from her insect experience from hades, thanks for asking.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Fire Station

Last Tuesday, February 28th, Mitch's preschool had a field trip to the local fire station.

The last time we were at this fire station was with Chloe's preschool class almost exactly 2 years ago. Here is Mitch in February 2010, not quite 2.5 years.

Chloe & Mitch, Feb. 2010

Now it's Mitch's preschool class going. The first stop on the tour of the fire station was the media room. Mitch and his good buddy Jacob were among the first to climb up in a comfy recliner.

The firemen always let the kids walk through the fire truck. Mitch poses with his teacher, Miss Cindy.

Lexi's turn!

Leah didn't want to do it until she saw that Lexi wanted to, then of course she was game (have I mentioned how competitive these two are??)

In front of the fire truck

Then all the kids got to walk through the ambulance/rescue vehicle.

So glad Mitch has a good friend to go to school with.

After I took the first picture, Jacob said "Let do a silly one now!" Silly pictures are right up Mitchell's alley.

Group shot of all the preschooler's and their siblings in front of the rescue boat.

Next, one of the fireman showed the kids how they learn how to pull full grown adults from buildings with this life size, 170 lb dummy.

He let the kids try to pull the dummy. They didn't even move him an inch. I love how Lexi (bottom right) jumped in there like she knew what she was doing.

One of the fireman put on all his fire gear after that. He had everyone captivated.

Lexi took a liking to Miss Cindy and stayed by her side for the whole demonstration. What a sweet, wonderful teacher Miss Cindy is, too. We just love her and I love that my kids have gotten to experience their preschool years with a woman like her. She is exactly what you imagine the prefect preschool teacher to be like- sweet, happy, patient (oh so very patient), loving and very kind. She treats each child like he/she is her favorite. We love her!

I love that the firemen will dress up in all their gear for the kids. They always explain to the kids that although they might look scary, they are there to help them in a fire and that if they see a person that looks like them to not be afraid.

He knelt down on the floor and let the kids touch him to show him that he's not scary.

At the end, all the kids received fire hats and bags full of stickers, pencils and coloring books. Leah loved her hat.

Lexi had a hard time keeping hers on!

A family shot with one of the fireman. This man has a 2 year old daughter too and kept telling us stories about his little girl. What a blessing and comfort it is to have such dedicated, hard working men nearby to protect us! I really admire fireman and police officers. (And yes, Leah is sitting on his lap. I tell you, this girl has come so far! She actually cried when we gathered up for the picture and come to find out that she was crying because she wanted to sit on his lap and not anywhere else).

The last time we came to the fire station, the babies were just 4 months old and I pushed them around in their double stroller. This time, they walked/ran all over that fire station. Maybe in a few years, this will be their preschool field trip.